With Pierre Garcon solidifying one starting spot and Santana Moss starring as the slot receiver that leaves Josh Morgan and Leonard Hankerson to battle for playing time opposite Garcon. In this edition of Hogs Haven Roundtable Mark Voltaire and Joe Lavoie discuss (argue, fight with each other, yell, throw things, whatever) which receiver they think will emerge as the starter.
Josh Morgan - 6'1", 220 lbs., 27 years old (28 when the season starts)
Leonard Hankerson - 6'2", 211 lbs., 24 years old
Joe: One thing as football fans that we all put players through is the eyeball test, both on paper, and on the field. At first glance, at least on paper, Hank gets the nod. Higher average, younger, and slightly taller; however, Hank refuses to go across the middle, and make the tough catch. If he hears footsteps, he drops the ball. Above all else, I want my receivers to make the catch, the other stats are ancillary. Amazingly, I have more faith in Josh Morgan. Morgan showed that when called upon, he could make the play. It seems the quarterbacks agree with me on this, targeting him nearly 20 more times than Hank. If I were in charge, let's give Morgan the job.
Mark: Ok I hear ya, I do love Morgan's toughness and the fact that he's a hometown kid BUT I have a couple problems with thinking Morgan should get the job. Let's look at all his numbers, pro and college, Josh has never scored more than 3 touchdowns in an NFL season (5 in college) or even come close to a 1,000 yard season, in college or the pro's. Also he was targeted 15 more times than Hankerson and ended up with less yards and touchdowns. To me Morgan is solid but he's reached his ceiling, he's not a playmaker (except that time he scooped up that RGIII fumble and scored a TD). If you look at Hankerson's numbers in his last year in college he got over 1,100 yards and 13 touchdowns, like you said Hankerson is younger, taller, faster and to me has way more upside. I wish he was more consistent but Morgan isn't consistent enough for me to feel he's a better option, I think Hankerson should get the job.
Joe: But are we quick to think Hankerson hasn't reached his ceiling? If you believe you're a big tough receiver, make the catch that counts. On 3rd and 7, your quarterback needs your help. The reason Morgan gets more looks is because Griffin has a better rapport with him; most likely, he sees what we all see in Hankerson, a guy who needs to have perfect space to make the catch. This is the NFL, Hank, there isn't 2.5 yards of separation except on a broken play. If Hank could stop being afraid of the middle of the field, and utilize his hands that are the size of my torso, then yes, give him the job, but he needs to earn it, and Morgan will cross the field and make the catch.
Mark: Did Hank drop the ball more than Morgan? Yes, Morgan had 4 drops and Hankerson had 5, not enough of a difference for me to label Hank inconsistent. Listen, why did Redskins fans want to get Percy Harvin? Because he's a playmaker, a dynamic offensive force. Now I'm not saying Hankerson is anywhere near Percy Harvin right now but the more playmakers we can surround Griffin (or Cousins) with the better and Morgan is not that guy, he's a middle of the road, possession receiver. Let's not forget Morgan has been in the league 5 years, and at best his numbers are average. Hankerson has only been in the league 2 years and was injured his first year, despite this lack of experience he and Morgan put up similar numbers. We do need guys who go over the middle and with Hankerson's big frame he might learn to do that but we also need guys who can beat corners on the outside and Morgan (I don't think) will ever be able to do that, Hank can.
Ok guys we're going to stop the debate here but we look forward to reading your comments below and gauge your take on the situation. Don't forget to vote and thanks for reading!